Industry conferences are a valuable opportunity to do everything from network to learn new skills. However, they can be expensive in terms of accommodation, airfare, registration, and any other costs that may arise while traveling. Even if a conference is in the same city, there are still substantial costs involved. To go beyond that, many industry leaders also want to be the chair of a conference or even host it, since it improves visibility within a market. With the newest innovations in video conferencing, though, you can be that company. Video conferencing is a useful communication tool for everyday business, but it’s gotten even bigger now that live streaming is available. Businesses have begun to use live streaming video conferencing capability for all sorts of events, ranging from conferences to product launches. It’s also the perfect platform upon which to host a small to medium-sized conference. Here are a few tips about how to host a conference using live streaming technology.
- Why a Conference?
This is a good question, and the answer is that most major industries have an annual conference to discuss the current state of the market. If you really want to be a pioneer into the industry in which you’re involved, one of the first rules of thumb is to get involved in the annual conference. Whether you’re on a committee, helping to organize, or the host, every business is trying to be a leader at the event. Jen Dziura on Daily Worth reports that when she was building her first company, an Internet marketing firm, the approach that really brought in clients was holding a conference. It was through this that she was able to network, build relationships, and even co-found organizations. The best way to save money when it comes to conferences, though, is to utilize live webcasting services. Blue Jeans offers some great options, even for the most large scale events. When you’re ready to take your conference into the most modern day setting, doing it online is the way to go.
- A Meet and Greet Video Conferencing Style
There’ usually a meet and greet when it comes to conferences, but you may be asking yourself what to do if the conference is totally online. The American Bar recommends in their instructions for planning a professional meet and greet that the location should be somewhere that can easily accommodate your group and also has something to offer participants. In theory, the best way to accommodate any group of people is to do business and have discussions in a virtual space. The best way to have a meet and greet via video conference is to allow attendees to connect later. Handing out business cards and other contact info after a presentation, particular to those who didn’t get to speak, is a great way to foster engagement. The other idea behind a video conference versus real life meeting with a potential candidate allows you to assess whether they’re appropriate for a position.
- The Rules of Presenting
Presenting in the context of an academic conference can be a little different than your ordinary presentation. It takes skill and the ability to talk to different types of people, but there are definitely some rules that anyone can follow. For example, the American Historical Association advises scholars to focus on a few key elements for a successful presentation:
- Obey time limits
- Cater to your audience
- Practice your presentation
- Avoid nervous gestures and fidgeting
- Check the room in advance, but in this case, you’d check the equipment
- Don’t improvise or get too casual
While you shouldn’t act as though the audience is your best friend, it’s totally acceptable to field questions and relate to them on a personal level. Act cool and casual, and try not to display any nervous behavior. It’s important to be able to show a balance between being an ordinary human versus a presenter.
- A Conference Spread Across the World
One of the best aspects of using live streaming to convey information is the fact that knowledge isn’t restricted by boundaries or geography. You can find experts anywhere in the world or participants, who will be interested in joining in. The point is that a conference can be prohibitively expensive for colleagues who are from long distances away, whereas video conferencing makes it possible for everyone to have an equal chance at hearing expertise.
Planning a conference using live streaming is very similar to planning a regular conference. You just have to take into account those essential differences in the way that presentations are made, information is conveyed, and how audience participation changes when you’re dealing with video technology. Make sure that everyone is on board with how the process will work, participants and presents alike. The best part of hosting a video conference is that it places you as a leader in your industry.